swell·​ing | \ ˈswe-liŋ How to pronounce swelling (audio) \

Definition of swelling

1 : something that is swollen specifically : an abnormal bodily protuberance or localized enlargement
2 : the condition of being swollen

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Synonyms for swelling


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Examples of swelling in a Sentence

There was a swelling above her eye. The swelling around her eye should subside in a few days.
Recent Examples on the Web But in severe cases, these immune system overreactions can cause blood pressure to drop, systemic inflammation, throat swelling and other life-threatening symptoms. Amanda Morris, The Arizona Republic, "COVID-19 vaccine ingredients can trigger allergic reactions, but officials say it's rare," 23 Jan. 2021 Sodium also increases fluid retention, which can cause things such as bloating and swelling, and may make any digestive issues, such as gas, stomach pain, and diarrhoea, even worse. Elizabeth Gulino, refinery29.com, "Can Pickle Juice Really Cure A Hangover?," 1 Jan. 2021 This point is when her sight starts to return; this point is where the swelling goes down. Clint Worthington, Vulture, "The Expanse’s Dominique Tipper on Naomi Nagata’s Hard Time in ‘Hard Vacuum’," 25 Jan. 2021 Allergic, inflammatory responses can cause rashes, swelling, hives and discomfort. Amanda Morris, The Arizona Republic, "COVID-19 vaccine ingredients can trigger allergic reactions, but officials say it's rare," 23 Jan. 2021 The apparent allergic reactions occurred at a clinic in San Diego and involved rapid swelling, but not anaphylaxis or life-threatening reactions, according to the work group. Los Angeles Times, "Vaccinating Californians 65 and older may last till June, pushing back timetable for others," 20 Jan. 2021 Exactly how this defect causes the swelling is still unclear. New York Times, "Her Stomach Hurt Unbearably. Her Doctors Were Baffled.," 28 Dec. 2020 The corneal swelling had gone down completely, and the man’s vision in his left eye was 20/40. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Here’s what happens when a bee stings you directly in your eyeball," 4 Dec. 2020 Yet the swelling began to damage the other parts of his brain, the areas that control muscle coordination and kept him breathing. Paighten Harkins, The Salt Lake Tribune, "These two families watched loved ones die of coronavirus in overwhelmed Utah hospitals," 6 Nov. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'swelling.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of swelling

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for swelling

Time Traveler

The first known use of swelling was before the 12th century

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Statistics for swelling

Last Updated

20 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Swelling.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/swelling. Accessed 2 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for swelling



English Language Learners Definition of swelling

: an area on someone's body that is larger than normal because of an illness or injury
: the condition of being larger than normal


swell·​ing | \ ˈswe-liŋ \

Kids Definition of swelling

: a swollen lump or part


swell·​ing | \ ˈswel-iŋ- How to pronounce swelling (audio) \

Medical Definition of swelling

: an abnormal bodily protuberance or localized enlargement an inflammatory swelling

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